Buy Draft 11n!

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Tim Higgins

It’s Great By Any Name

I usually don’t write opinion pieces, in light of the old saying comparing them to a part of the human backside. But with all the dire warnings about the initial crop of draft 802.11n products in the news lately, I thought it was time to speak up and offer an alternative, more positive view.

As the title of this piece says, I think it’s just dandy for you to go out and buy the latest and greatest that the gods of wireless LAN technology have seen fit to bestow on us. Actually, I not only think it’s dandy, but that it’s your duty. Whether it’s called draft 11n, draft n, nFiniti, TopDog, XSPAN, Intensi-fi, nAncy or nUcular; it’s all good. Here’s why:

You Need The Speed

The big throughput number on the box has been used to get us geekatroids salivatin’ since TI decided to recycle its PBCC technology that didn’t make the cut into 802.11g. They just took lemons and made 22 Mb/s lemonade and it’s been off to the WLAN speed races ever since.

And what a great thing all this speed has been. We all now have super-fast and reliable wireless connectivity throughout our homes and businesses. And how about all that HD video that you stream around your home? How did we ever live with that poky old 11 Mb/s stuff?

They Need Your Money

We all know how tough it is to make a living these days in the high-tech biz. If the Man ain’t shipping your job over to Bangalore, he’s cutting staff to make his numbers so that his boss doesn’t lay him off.

If we didn’t buy the latest whizzy stuff that the consumer networking companies come up with, then we’re just letting the terrorists win. No wait, that’s the justification for a different marketing campaign…

Seriously, it’s our duty as consumers to buy this stuff. Both the chip and end-product makers know that the “enterprise” guys are too chicken to buy gear based on ideas that real smart people are still working the kinks out of.

But they also know they can get us to buy anything if they dangle the right bright shiny thing in front of us. So I say, let’s step up to the checkout and pull out our wallets. Someone has to help these poor companies pay their bills until they can make products good enough that real companies will buy them.

We Need To Work Together

In the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth, companies used to carefully test products before they made them available to consumers. They even paid employees to do this. And companies had slogans like “zero defects” and “quality is our most important product.”

But who has time for that today? This is the new millennium and competition is everywhere. If you don’t get your product out there first, then you might as well just give up…you loser!

But today’s sophisticated products with super-advanced technology require equally advanced testing. Especially this wireless stuff, which tends to be kind of squirrelly, anyway.

So let’s all pitch in and help out by not only volunteering our time, but also paying full price for the privilege of improving our problem-solving skills. And how about the opportunity to talk with people in faraway lands…or at least wait for hours to talk with them? Why, this international spirit of cooperation might just make the world a better place! Don’t our kids deserve this?

Get Ahead Of The Joneses

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of being the first in your neighborhood with technology that is sure to make your neighbors envious. Or at least that will make them sit up and take notice.

I hear that this draft 11n stuff is so advanced that it can wipe out any older stuff that gets in its way. How cool is that? That’ll teach those nervous Nellies with their wait-and-see attitudes. Wimps!

Standards, Schmandards

What’s the good of having products meet a standard if it takes so darn long? I mean, we have better things to do than wait for a bunch of eggheads to stroke their chins and ponder difficult problems, don’t we? I mean, who appointed them the boss of everyone?

Aren’t companies much better at figuring out what works best? And the bigger the company the better! Intel and Microsoft and Cisco didn’t get to where they are today by waiting for standards, and they’ve done all right.

The consumer is much smarter at figuring this stuff out, anyway. After all, we get a whole lot of help from advertising, don’t we? And how about the information that they put on the outside of attractively designed product packaging? It tells us everything we need to know, doesn’t it, because it’s written by folks in those big, smart companies.

Besides, choice is good. And lots of stuff to choose from is even better. Especially when the stuff that people end up not choosing finds its way onto eBay where you can get it really cheap.

Let Freedom Ring!

So folks, can we all stop the “don’t buy draft 11n” editorials and accusing fine, upstanding American companies of behavior that might be considered worthy of legal intervention in technology backwaters like France or Belgium or any of those places where people have much more vacation time than we do… and even use it!

America got to be the nation it is today through the powers of the free market, however messy, wasteful and unfair to some that it may seem. So it’s your duty to get out there and keep the wheels of progress turning ever more swiftly. Buy draft 11n products early and buy them often! And remember that it’s the early bird that gets the bugs, oops, worm.

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